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Can I Visit Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

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Can I Visit Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

Hello there! Are you curious about visiting Fort Vancouver National Historic Site? Well, you’re in the right place! In this article, we’ll explore the accessibility and opportunities for visitors at this historical site. You’ll learn about the site’s rich history, the various activities and exhibits available, and the practical information you need to plan your visit. So, if you’re interested in exploring a significant piece of American history, keep reading, and you’ll find all the information you need to know about visiting Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.

Can I Visit Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

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Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is a must-visit destination for history buffs and nature lovers alike. Located in Vancouver, Washington, it holds great historical significance as a former trading post and military fort. With its well-preserved structures, informative exhibits, and beautiful surroundings, the site offers a unique and immersive experience for visitors of all ages.


Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is situated in Vancouver, Washington, just across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon. Its address is 1501 E Evergreen Blvd, Vancouver, WA 98661. The site encompasses a vast area, covering both the historic fort and surrounding grounds, which include Pearson Field and various park areas.

Historical Significance

Fort Vancouver has a rich history dating back to the early 19th century. Originally established by the Hudson’s Bay Company as a fur trading post in 1825, it quickly became the headquarters of the company’s Columbia Department. The fort played a significant role in the fur trade in the Pacific Northwest, contributing to the economic development of the region.

In addition to its commercial importance, Fort Vancouver also served as a vital military installation. During the 19th century, it witnessed the presence of various military units, including the US Army and the British Army. The fort’s strategic location made it an important outpost for both nations, especially during times of territorial disputes.

Visitor Information

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is open year-round, allowing visitors to explore its fascinating history and natural beauty regardless of the season. The site offers a range of amenities to ensure a pleasant visit, including parking, restrooms, and picnic areas. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply looking for a unique day trip, Fort Vancouver promises an exciting and educational experience. Download this great brochure before your visit.

Can I Visit Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

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Opening Hours

Regular Hours

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Tuesday through Saturday. During these hours, visitors have the opportunity to explore the historic buildings, participate in guided tours, and enjoy the various attractions within the site.

Holiday Hours

During special occasions and holidays, the operating hours may vary. It is always recommended to check the official website or contact the Visitor Center for the most up-to-date information regarding holiday hours.

Admission Fees

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site offers affordable admission fees, making it accessible to all visitors. The fees collected help support the preservation and maintenance of the site, ensuring its longevity for future generations. The following are the current admission fees:


Adults (ages 16 and above) can enter the site for a fee of $7 per person.

Senior Citizens

Senior citizens (ages 62 and above) are eligible for a reduced admission fee of $5 per person.


Students (ages 15 and below) can enter the site for only $3 per person. This fee applies to both individual students and student groups visiting as part of a school trip.


Children under the age of 5 can enter Fort Vancouver National Historic Site for free. This policy enables families to enjoy the site’s offerings without worrying about additional costs.

Can I Visit Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

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Guided Tours

To enhance your visit to Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, consider taking part in one of the guided tours offered by the knowledgeable park rangers. These tours provide valuable insights into the fort’s history, architecture, and daily life during its heyday. There are several types of tours available, each catering to different interests and preferences.

Types of Tours

  • Fort Tour: This tour takes you through the reconstructed fort buildings, allowing you to step back in time and experience what life was like at the fort.
  • Cultural Landscape Tour: Explore the natural surroundings and learn about the indigenous people who inhabited the land before the arrival of European settlers.
  • Pearson Field Aviation Tour: Delve into the aviation history of Pearson Field, located within the Fort Vancouver site. This tour showcases the field’s significance in early aviation and offers a glimpse into the world of flight.

Tour Schedule

Tours are conducted on a regular basis, providing visitors with ample opportunities to participate. The exact schedule might change due to various factors, so it is advisable to check the park’s official website or inquire at the Visitor Center for the most up-to-date information regarding tour times and availability.


Reservations are not required for the general tours offered at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. However, larger groups or those with specific requirements may want to contact the Visitor Center in advance to ensure a seamless experience.


Fort Vancouver National Historic Site boasts a range of attractions that showcase its historical and natural significance. Here are some of the highlights you can look forward to exploring during your visit:

Fort Vancouver Village

Step into the past as you wander through the reconstructed Fort Vancouver Village. The village features numerous historic buildings, including the Chief Factor’s House and the Blacksmith Shop. Interact with costumed interpreters who bring the 19th-century fur trading era to life, sharing stories and demonstrating traditional crafts.

Pearson Field

Aviation enthusiasts will be delighted to visit Pearson Field, the oldest continuously operating airfield in the country. Watch as planes take off and land, and explore the Pearson Field Education Center, where you can learn about the history of flight through interactive exhibits and displays.

Visitor Center

Start your visit at the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center, where you can find helpful information about the site, pick up maps and brochures, and even purchase souvenirs to commemorate your experience. The Visitor Center also offers a short film that provides an overview of the site’s history, introducing you to the fascinating stories behind Fort Vancouver.

Can I Visit Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

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Events and Programs

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site hosts a variety of special events and educational programs throughout the year. These events offer visitors the opportunity to engage with history in a fun and interactive way. Whether it’s a living history reenactment, a traditional music performance, or a hands-on workshop, there is always something exciting happening at the site.

Special Events

From Fourth of July celebrations to historical reenactments, special events at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site attract visitors from near and far. These events often feature live entertainment, educational demonstrations, and opportunities to immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and flavors of the past.

Educational Programs

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is committed to providing educational opportunities for visitors of all ages. The site offers a range of educational programs, including guided field trips for students, curriculum-based workshops, and interactive presentations. These programs aim to deepen visitors’ understanding of the site’s historical and cultural significance while promoting a love for learning and exploration.


To ensure a comfortable and enjoyable visit, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site provides various facilities for its visitors. These include:


Free parking is available for visitors at designated areas within the site. Conveniently located parking lots make it easy to access the different attractions and amenities within Fort Vancouver.


Clean and accessible restrooms are available at several locations throughout the site, making it convenient for visitors to take necessary breaks during their exploration.

Picnic Areas

Enjoy a leisurely picnic amidst the serene surroundings of Fort Vancouver’s park areas. Several designated picnic areas with tables and benches are scattered throughout the site, providing the perfect spot to relax and rejuvenate before continuing your adventure.

Can I Visit Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

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Fort Vancouver National Historic Site strives to make its facilities and attractions accessible to all visitors. The following accessibility features are available:

Wheelchair Access

Many areas within the site are wheelchair accessible, including the Visitor Center, restrooms, and some of the key historic buildings. Accessible paths and ramps allow visitors with mobility challenges to explore the site comfortably.

Assistive Devices

The Visitor Center offers assistive listening devices and audio-described programs for visitors who may require additional assistance. These devices enhance the overall visitor experience and ensure that everyone can fully engage with the site’s exhibits and presentations.

Services for Visitors with Disabilities

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is committed to providing inclusive and accessible services for visitors with disabilities. If you have specific needs or requirements, it is recommended to contact the Visitor Center in advance so that staff can make necessary arrangements to accommodate you.

Nearby Attractions

While visiting Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, take the opportunity to explore other nearby attractions. The region offers a wealth of natural and cultural wonders, allowing you to make the most of your time in the area. Here are some recommendations:

Columbia River Gorge

A short drive east from Vancouver will take you to the stunning Columbia River Gorge. This scenic area boasts breathtaking waterfalls, hiking trails, and awe-inspiring viewpoints. Marvel at the beauty of Multnomah Falls, hike along the Eagle Creek Trail, or enjoy a leisurely drive along the Historic Columbia River Highway.

Mount St. Helens

For an unforgettable adventure, head north to Mount St. Helens. This active volcano, infamous for its 1980 eruption, offers incredible opportunities for hiking, fishing, and learning about the volcanic landscape. Visit the Johnston Ridge Observatory to learn about the destructive power of this natural wonder and witness the stunning rebirth of the surrounding ecosystem.

Portland City

Cross the river into Oregon and explore the vibrant city of Portland. Known for its eclectic food scene, thriving arts community, and beautiful parks, Portland offers a dynamic urban experience. Visit the famous Powell’s City of Books, take a stroll through the International Rose Test Garden, or sample culinary delights at the local food carts.


Visiting Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is a journey through time and nature. From the reconstructed fort buildings to the beautiful park areas, this site offers something for everyone. Immerse yourself in the rich history, explore the natural surroundings, and appreciate the importance of this place in shaping the Pacific Northwest. Whether you’re passionate about history, enjoy outdoor adventures, or simply want to have a memorable day trip, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is a destination you won’t want to miss. Plan your visit today and embark on a fascinating exploration of the past.

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